It has been long-established that interconnected public water systems such as those of Maine Water Company (Biddeford/Saco), Kennebunk, Kennebunkport, and Wells Water District (KKW), York Water (YWD), and Kittery Water District (KWD) should consider having similar water treatment practices. This can bring operations to a much higher level of efficiency, sustainability and safety and is particularly important if there’s any exchange of water between the systems.

In 2003 YWD completed an interconnection with KKW. In 2005 KWD completed an interconnection with YWD. Since completion of both interconnections, there have been several occasions where one of the 3 water utilities would not have been able to serve its customers, due to issues such algae blooms, drought events, serious water main breaks, equipment failures or planned infrastructure improvements. In most cases, customers saw no change in water service.

In 2016, Kittery Water District (KWD), York Water District (YWD), and Kennebunk, Kennebunkport, and Wells Water District (KKW) employed the services of an engineering firm, Tata and Howard, to study the different water supplies and make recommendations on how to achieve long term water compatibility and stability if the systems’ water were to be regularly mixed. This study concluded that all three water systems should modify their treatment processes to avoid water incompatibility when exchanging water and could maintain and potentially even improve on existing water quality in doing so. The study can be found here:

Local Interconnectivity Study: September 2016

In 2018, KKW and YWD completed infrastructure additions and changes to their treatment processes which brought them to nearly uniform water quality. KKW reintroduced the use of Monochloramines for disinfection, currently used by YWD and in turn, YWD changed to the different corrosion inhibitor chemical currently used by both KKW and KWD. This past year KWD has been working on infrastructure and engineering plans, approved by the State Drinking Water Program, to match the chlorine type used at YWD and KKW known as Monochloramines. Using Monochloramine disinfectant in the distribution system has clear and quantifiable health and safety benefits that are discussed in another article.

When completed, these changes will make the different district waters nearly indistinguishable to you, our customers, while preventing upsets to water quality in the event we find it necessary to transfer water between systems. This will also make transfers more efficient by avoiding the need to adjust water quality at interconnections while providing and allowing other benefits and efficiencies.

Also, in 2019 KWD will complete a second and new interconnection with YWD. This interconnection/pumping station near Beech Ridge Road is being jointly designed and constructed by the three Districts. This new pumping station, which is capable of transferring up to 3 million gallons per day, will play a critical role for KWD in the upgrade of the filtration plant scheduled for 2020. Also, as previously mentioned it will provide long term sustainability in the event of future algae blooms, drought events, serious water main breaks, equipment failures or planned infrastructure improvements.